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Thursday, June 13, 2024


Key quotes on Latin America

“The message that there will be no control in spending is becoming increasingly clear. The finance minister seems increasingly isolated.”
Leonardo Monoli, chief investment officer at Azimut Brasil Wealth Management, on President Lula’s aggressive fiscal policy, as quoted by Bloomberg, June 13, 2024.

“It would be like AMLO, but with some improvements.”
Gabriel Casillas, chief Latin America economist at Barclays, on Claudia Sheinbaum as president, as quoted by Bloomberg, May 29, 2024.

“The removal of Petrobras’ CEO and some other signs of increasing levels of intervention from the Lula administration does not help with investor confidence.”
Christine Phillpotts, portfolio manager for emerging markets value strategy at Ariel Investments in New York, as quoted by Bloomberg, May 22, 2024.

“The destruction of the fight against corruption in the country is relentless.”
Transparency International on X, formerly Twitter, commenting on the ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Court to overturn two prominent ‘Car Wash’ corruption convictions, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 22, 2024.

“Before Lava Jato, it was completely unthinkable that certain players would ever face prison. What these decisions seem to establish is that things have not changed.”
Filipe Campante, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, on the ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Court to overturn two prominent ‘Car Wash’ corruption convictions, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 22, 2024.

“I see many companies starting to think twice about investing here . . . there are very, very big risks on security.”
Unnamed top banker in Mexico on worsening security situation, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 21, 2024.

“Anyone who has been around Brazil for a while is well aware of the risk of Lula intervening. The question will be how much is bark and how much is bite.”
Greg Lesko, a portfolio manager at Deltec Asset Management in New York, as quoted by Bloomberg, March 18, 2024.

“It’s a simple recipe and I didn’t invent it . . . we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
Dominican President Luis Abinader on combining pro-business policies with improved social spending, as quoted by the Financial Times, March 17, 2024.

“To the victor belongs the crisis.”
Richard M. Sanders, Senior Fellow, Western Hemisphere at the Center for the National Interest, writing in Global Americans,
November 7, 2023, on the presidential elections in Argentina.

“López Obrador’s legacy will be a much weaker Mexican state, a more polarized nation and a poorer country that has higher levels of violence and is less connected to and in sync with the world than when he took office.”
Arturo Sarukhan, board member of the Inter-American Dialogue and former Mexican ambassador to the United States, as quoted by the he Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor, November 6, 2023.

“Here in the Dominican Republic, 80 to 85 percent of wealth is held by the private sector. We don’t have a PDVSA, Petrobras or Pemex.”
Maximo Vidal, the Dominican banker who has lead Citibank for the Dominican Republic and Haiti since 2005, on why local governments embrace business, as quoted by Global Miami, June 2023.

“There is a land grab — or air grab, if you prefer — in Latin America generally now between the various carriers. Every player sees opportunities to add capacity.”
Mike Arnot, an analyst at Cirium, as quoted by the Financial Times, June 20, 2023.

“What is bad for Petro is good for investment, for the dollar and for the country.”
Juan Pablo Vieira, CEO of JP Tactical Trading, on Colombia’s radical president Gustavo Petro’s latest setback, as quoted by La Republica, June 6, 2023.

“It’s a step back to the Mexico of the 60s, the 70s, where companies had to sit down and negotiate directly with the president and no one knows what the rules are.”
Guillermo Garcia Sanchez, associate professor at Texas A&M University School of Law, on AMLO’s expropriation of Grupo Mexico rail, as quoted by Bloomberg News, May 23, 2023.

“Central Bank is not sadist and needs help.”
Arminio Fraga, former president of Brazil’s Central Bank and founding partner of Gávea Investimentos, on the bank’s rate policy influenced by the government’s expansionary fiscal policies, as quoted by Valor Economico, May 22, 2023.

“AMLO Says What’s Yours Can Be His in Mexico.”
The Wall Street Journal editorial, May 22, 2023, on the takeover of a part of Grupo Mexico’s railway on May 19, 2023.

“Latin America is beating the world at wasting opportunities.”
Financial Times Latin America Editor Michael Stott, May 10, 2023

“We strongly believe that Peru is today in a much better position than it was six months ago.”
Credicorp Ltd CEO Gianfranco Ferrari on a conference call, as quoted by Bloomberg, May 8, 2023.

“Is he crazy? This citizen cannot be speaking the truth…Who does he have a commitment with? With Brazil? He doesn’t.”
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva criticizing Central bank governor Roberto Campos Neto after the latest decisión to keep the interest rate at 13.7%. His comments were made to the press May 6, 2023 during Lula’s visit to London.

“It’s like everyone has to be careful and no one can talk about interest rates, except one man that seems to know more than 215 million people,.”
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, referring to central bank president Roberto Campos Neto during a public event in Brasilia, as quoted by Bloomberg, May 4, 2023.

“The Chileans have shot themselves in the foot. While the policy opens up opportunities for more development, it’s going to have the opposite effect because of the uncertainty.”
Reg Spencer, analyst at Canaccord Genuity, on Chile’s new lithium restrictions, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 2, 2023.

“If it was my money, I would go and explore Argentina, Brazil and Africa. You’ll get ripped off in Chile.”
Daniel Jiménez, who spent 28 years at Chile’s SQM, on Chile’s new lithium restrictions, as quoted by the Financial Times, May 2, 2023.

“The attempt to restrict the reforms can lead to a revolution.”
Colombia President Gustavo Petro in May 1, 2023 speech from presidential palace in Bogota, following congressional opposition against his radical health, labor and pension reforms.

“Between the two sides of Petro — the consensus builder that looks for nationwide agreements and the radical with fixed ideas — it is the second that will always win out.”
Alejandro Gaviria, a former Colombian health minister who resigned as education minister in February, on the cuntrys president Gustav oPetro, as quoted by the Financial Times, April 27, 2023.

“Petro is making sure that instead of being the first of many leftwing presidents in Colombia, he will be the only one.”
Sergio Guzmán, director of Colombia Risk Analysis, on Colombia President’s increasingy radical decisions, as quoted by the Financial Times, Apil 26, 2023.

“This case involves calculated extortion arising out of a plain-vanilla private equity transaction. Already having engaged in the flagrant abuse of the Mexican justice system, Servicios Funerarios’ complaint is just the latest step in an escalating scheme.”
Advent in an April 24 filing in Boston federal court in a lawsuit against the owner of Mexican funeral services chain Gayosso, as quoted by Bloomberg, April 25, 2023.

“They screwed their shareholders and all the possible financing routes and kidnapped their creditors.”
Marcelo Farias, a manager at BB Asset and one of the 26-member group that holds 4.7 billion reais in Light debt,as quoted by Bloomberg, April 18, 2023.

“The corruption that almost destroyed Petrobras during Rousseff’s presidency alone should have made her an unsuitable for appointment as small-town dog catcher much less president of an international development bank.”
Jeb Blount on Substack, April 11, 2023, on the appointment of former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff as president of the BRIC Bank.

“In the last three months, we have clearly learned what not to do in an administration with an independent Central Bank.”
Rodrigo Azevedo, a former director of monetary policy at Brazil’s Central Bank, at an event at Bradesco BBI , as quoted by Valor Economico, April 9, 2023.

“Che Guevara has ceded some ideological space to the less racy Thomas Piketty among today’s Latin American left, but the myth of the Cuban revolution lives on.”
Michael Stott, in the Financial Times, April 6, 2023

“This deal is a complex mesh with high political profitability for one side, very high business profitability to the Iberdrola side, and low profitability to the energy sector in Mexico.”
Energy consultant Severo Lopez Mestre on Mexico’s $6 billion purchase of Iberdrola assets, as quoted by Bloomberg, April 5, 2023.

“The government ended up creating a problem where there was none.”
Juan Jensen, a partner at consulting firm 4intelligence, on Lula’s attacks against the Central Bank, as quoted by Valor Economico, April 4, 2023.

“Some of the nearshoring we have seen is happening in spite of Mexico’s policies as opposed to because of them.”
Ryan Berg, Americas Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, quoted in Forbes, March 22, 2023

“The Peronists have perfected the process of handing over a broken economy to the opposition, who has no choice but to apply drastic measures to resuscitate the investment climate, measures that inevitably hurt the underclasses who yearn again for the economy-destroying subsidies of the Peronists.”
John Price, the Managing Director of Americas Market Intelligence, in analysis on th outlook for Latin America 2023.

“There are no flights, there is no offer, it does not work; a deserted airport is a failure by any vision.”
Rogelio Rodríguez, doctor in aeronautical law, ton the failire of the new $5.4 billion AIFA airport in mexico City, as quoted by El Financiero, March 20, 2023

“It’s just unimaginable that you would be able to replace 60% of exports with tourism and agriculture.”
Luis Fernando Mejia, head of the Bogota-based think-tank Fedesarrollo and a former director of Colombia’s national planning department, on President Petro’s plans to stop new oil and mining exploration, as quoted by Reuters, March 14, 2023.

“Amlo has a done a lot of bad things, but this is the worst, the most dangerous, by far.”
Unnamed prominent Mexican businessman to the Financial Times, February 27, 2022, on the president’s actions weakening the independent electoral agency INE.

“This criticism is yet another headache for the Central Bank. It is a shot in the foot. It hurts the government itself. They weaken the building of credibility of the economic team and generate volatility.”
Brazilian economist and consultant Zeina Latif, on President Lula’s attacks against the Central Bank, as quoted by valor Economico, February 6, 2023.

“Haddad learned on his first day in office that he will be a decorative figure, a sort of task worker for President Lula,”
O Estado de S. Paulo editorial January 4, 2023, on Brazil’s new finance minister Fernando Haddad.

“Unlike what Lula said, the spending cap is not stupidity. Stupidity is saying that the spending cap is stupid.”
Maílson da Nóbrega, a partner at Tendências Consultoria and Brazil’s finance minister between 1988 and 1990, as quoted by Valor Economico, January 4, 2023.

“In general, they have given off the impression of a government that is tone deaf – at least with respect to the types of tones that financial markets want to hear.”
Brazil FX strategists at BMO Capital Markets told clients about country’s new government, according to Reuters, January 4, 2023.

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